Every last week of the month we will be focussing on “CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUES”. We are really sorry that this blog is coming a bit late. But you also know sooner or later we will have a blog for you which is worth your 5-minute read. Coming back to our topic of this week, it is Climate Change and in this we have alot to cover. Many aspects are important I know, but while you are reading this blog we are losing out on time to this particular cause. So, read this article carefully and till the end as participation from each and every one of you counts. By participation I mean just by sharing this blog you can participate in the cause. I’ll explain how for now we’ll get straight into the blog.
As by seeing the title you can assume that we’ll be talking about EIA DRAFT NOTIFICATION 2020. Now there might be people who don’t know what EIA is ?? what is happening to it now ?? and what can we do during a lockdown?? So, here’s a guide of all the list of things required.
WHAT IS EIA???
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a process of evaluating the likely environmental impacts of a proposed project or development, taking into account inter-related socio-economic, cultural and human-health impacts, both beneficial and adverse.
WHAT IS HAPPENING TO IT NOW???
Recently, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has proposed a draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) notification 2020, that seeks to replace the current notification which goes back to 2006.
The draft notification is issued under the powers vested in the central government under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 to take all such measures for “protecting and improving the quality of the environment”.
According to the government, the new notification is being brought in order to make the process more transparent and expedient by the implementation of an online system, further delegation, rationalisation and standardisation of the process. However, the environmentalist said that the draft will further dilute the EIA process.
Issues Pertaining to Draft EIA Notification 2020
The new draft allows for post-facto approval for projects. It means that the clearances for projects can be awarded even if they have started construction or have been running phase without securing environmental clearances.
PUBLIC CONSULTATION PROCESS
The draft notification provides for a reduction of the time period from 30 days to 20 days for the public to submit their responses during a public hearing for any application seeking environmental clearance.
The danger is that if adequate time is not given for the preparation of views, comments and suggestions to those who would be affected by the project, then such public hearings would not be meaningful.
COMPLIANCE REPORT ISSUE
The 2006 notification required that the project proponent submit a report every six months, showing that they are carrying out their activities as per the terms on which permission has been given
However, the new draft requires the promoter to submit a report only once every year.
BYPASSING EIA PROCESS
Through the draft notification, the central government gets the power to categorise projects as “strategic”.
Once a project is considered as strategic, the draft notification states that no information related to such projects shall be placed in the public domain.
On a positive note, the 2020 draft notification has a clause dedicated to definitions to several terms related to EIA. It may be beneficial in the sense that it consolidates the EIA rules and has the potential of alleviating some ambiguity in the present law.
If you want to read the draft EIA 2020, click on the link below:
Now if you want to bring the change there is an activist group named LET INDIA BREATHE. They have written the email to the concerned authority you just have to click on the Link below and follow the instructions:
if you want to see how these simple changes in the laws can bring complex change in our society do watch this video:
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